Nestle's U.S. division has awarded media-planning and -buying duties -- including digital work -- to WPP's GroupM. The incumbent was Publicis Groupe's Zenith.
Nestle launched the review four months ago as it put a new emphasis on cost savings. The workload includes Nestle Nutrition, Nestle Health Sciences, Nespresso USA, Nestle Waters North America, Nestle Purina PetCare and Nestle USA.
Group M will service the account from its New York and Los Angeles offices.
The marketer, whose brands include Digiorno, Stouffer's and Lean Cuisine, spent $753.3 million on measured media in 2012, according to Kantar Media.
"Our decision to award the business to Group M was based on a strong combination of factors including strategic planning, digital acumen, team strength and buying efficiencies," Alicia Enciso, chief marketing officer for Nestle USA, said in a statement provided to Ad Age. "We will immediately initiate a phased transition of all U.S. businesses, and look forward to working with Group M to prepare for upfront media negotiations and 2014 planning."
Zenith declined to comment on the shift. The shift is a major loss for incumbent Zenith, but the firm's recent Kohl's ($350 million) and Farmers Insurance ($150 million) wins should soften the blow.
When Nestle initiated the review in December, a person familiar with the process told Ad Age that "everybody is under the microscope," as the company puts more emphasis on cutting costs. Last week Nestle USA awarded creative and digital duties for its Buitoni North America brand of refrigerated pastas and sauces to Marcus Thomas of Cleveland. The creative account had been at Publicis New York, while digital was at Night Agency, New York.
Contributing: Alexandra Bruell